Lib Dems "committed to an hour's free parking in town"

March 18, 2010 7:02 AM
Nigel Clarke, Linda Price, Cllr Ross Carter, Cllr Karen Chilvers, Cllr David Kendall and Cllr Barry Aspinell collecting petition signatures in the car park on Saturday 25th April 2009

The Liberal Democrats have been campaigning on parking charges for years

Liberal Democrats will introduce a new parking scheme in Brentwood that would give residents and visitors the first hour of parking free in the town centre car parks as part of a one year pilot scheme.

The scheme would apply to the William Hunter Way, Chatham Way and Coptfold Road Multi Storey Car Parks.

  • The first hour of car parking would be free to residents and visitors.
  • All current car parking charges would remain unchanged
  • Current day time charging bands would be extended into the evening hours.
  • Operating times would be changed to Mon - Sun 06:00 - 23.59 hrs
  • The officers have calculated there could be a potential revenue shortfall of between £100,000 - £200,000 in the pilot year due to changing parking patterns..
  • Any revenue shortfall would be underwritten by using some of the £829,000 VAT refund that the Council has put into reserves.
  • The pilot scheme would be reviewed after 6 months and 12 months.

If after one year the proposal did not lead to an increased use of the car parks and an overall upturn in business, a decision could be made to revert back to the current car parking arrangements.

Cllr David Kendall, Leader of the Opposition in Brentwood, said:

"Something definitely needs to be done to kick start the local economy after all the upheaval of the High Street refurbishment.

"Many retailers are really struggling and are looking for the Council to make a major statement on car parking that says Brentwood is back in business. We believe the unexpected VAT refund of £829k makes it an ideal time to give this radical measure a try and to see what effect it would have on rejuvenating the local economy.

"If the Liberal Democrats were running Brentwood we would introduce this scheme immediately. Currently we are not, but our aim will be to introduce this measure as soon as we are in a position to do so".